Located in downtown Seattle, the Seattle Art Museum has a wide-ranging collection, from Native American masterpieces to cutting-edge installations. This Seattle institution, known affectionately as SAM, is a playground for art lovers; temporary exhibitions with creative flair ensure every visit is as fresh as the first.
Tickets are required to enter the Seattle Art Museum, and the cost of tickets to special exhibitions, which include all galleries, is higher. Some city tours include the Seattle Art Museum; since the vast collection can be overwhelming, visiting with a guide can be a good way to ensure you see the museum’s highlights.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Seattle Art Museum is a must-visit for art lovers and those interested in Native American culture.
- Wheelchairs, baby carriers, and strollers are available at the SAM coat check.
- Museum admission includes various hour-long tours of the collection.
- The Seattle Art Museum is fully wheelchair-accessible.
- The Asian Art Museum in Capitol Hill and the open-air Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront are also part of the Seattle Art Museum.
How to Get There
A block from Pike Place Market and the docks, the downtown Seattle Art Museum is easily reached by public transit. The University Street light rail station is one block away, and many buses stop nearby. Driving means contending with downtown traffic, but museum visitors can get discounted rates at the parking garage on 3rd and Stewart by requesting a voucher before leaving the museum.
When to Get There
Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm, the Seattle Art Museum also has evening hours each Thursday until 9pm. The museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas, and admission is free the first Thursday of every month. Several different public tours, free with admission, are given, most frequently on weekends; check the calendar for details.
Visiting the Seattle Art Museum with Kids
With free admission for children 12 and younger, the Seattle Art Museum is a great kid-friendly attraction in downtown Seattle. The whole museum is stroller accessible—you can take advantage of the loaners from the coat check—and there’s a family room on the third floor stocked with toys and books when you need a break from quiet museum spaces. Check the museum website for scheduled activities for children.